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How the Judges of Israel Overlapped

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  • How the Judges of Israel Overlapped

    The history of the Judges bridges the time from the Exodus to the Kingdom of Israel, however, when we sum up the rule of the Judges, a problem arises. Add them all up, plus the times of oppression such as the Midianite period of seven years, then tack on the forty years in the desert plus the reigns of Saul and David, and what do we get? 640! On face value, that's about 160 years longer than the Exodus to Solomon as stated in the official record of the Kings. (1 Kings 6:1)

    There is a reason. The oppressions were regional in nature with the rule of some Judges taking place in tribal areas not affected by the invasions; they were ruling elsewhere during the same period. For example, in Deborah's victory song she made mention of her predecessor Shamgar being a contemporary of Jael,
    "In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned, and travellers kept to the byways." (Judges 5:6)
    In other words, Shamgar's foray with Philistines overlapped with the state of affairs in the north where Jael was living. The oppression of the northern tribes by Jabin of Hazor, was happening at the same time as the Sea Peoples (Philistines) were raiding the southern coast of Israel.

    Perhaps the best examples of overlapping leaders and timelines come from the record of the later Judges. In 1122 BC the Ammonites invaded Gilead (the eastern tribes) and in the same year the Philistines began to push from the south-west.

    "Because the Israelites forsook the LORD and no longer served him, he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites, who that year shattered and crushed them." (Jdg. 10:6-7)



    So, the Ammonites ruled for eighteen years in the east, and during that time the Philistines had taken control of large swathes of Dan and Judah in the south-west. They ruled for forty years. (Jdg. 13:1) This left a thin strip of hill country where Eli operated tenuously as a judge at Shiloh. Then Jephthah was bought from Tob to deliver the people of Gilead. His letter of defence is a vital key to the chronology of the Judges era. In writing his argument to the invading king, Jephthah said:

    "For three hundred years Israel occupied Heshbon, Aroer, the surrounding settlements and all the towns along the Arnon. Why didn't you retake them during that time?" (Judges 11:26)
    Sure enough, the deliverance from Ammon in 1105 BC was 300 years after Israel had settled the eastern territories in 1405 BC. Moreover, it confirms the overarching span of 480 years given in the record of the Kings as mentioned. After Jephthah's death, Ibzan judged from Bethlehem, and Samson from occupied Zorah. These men were contemporaries, as were Elon, Abnon and Samuel whose turns to lead came as shown in the chart below.



    For my full Judges chronology,
    together with printable charts, maps,
    timeline, and commentary, please go here:
    Last edited by Ged; 04-22-2014, 05:08 PM.
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ged View Post
    The history of the Judges bridges the time from the Exodus to the Kingdom of Israel, however, when we sum up the rule of the Judges, a problem arises.
    It's only a problem for inerrantists. Since I'm not an inerrantist, I don't consider it a problem.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Doug Shaver View Post
      It's only a problem for inerrantists. Since I'm not an inerrantist, I don't consider it a problem.
      In the face of what was posted, this comes across as little more than a hand wave.
      I'm not here anymore.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Carrikature View Post
        In the face of what was posted, this comes across as little more than a hand wave.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Doug Shaver View Post
          It's only a problem for inerrantists. Since I'm not an inerrantist, I don't consider it a problem.
          I doubt he was presenting it as a problem for errantists, much less skeptics like yourself.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by whag View Post
            I doubt he was presenting it as a problem for errantists, much less skeptics like yourself.
            He said, "a problem arises." For whom is it a problem, if not for inerrantists?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Doug Shaver View Post
              He said, "a problem arises." For whom is it a problem, if not for inerrantists?
              That's all I meant. The OP is for those who think Judges is free of mistakes, not skeptics who know that the bible contains errors.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by whag View Post
                The OP is for those who think Judges is free of mistakes, not skeptics who know that the bible contains errors.
                Having stated the problem, he offers a solution. So, am I correct in supposing that it is an apologetic for inerrantism?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doug Shaver View Post
                  Having stated the problem, he offers a solution. So, am I correct in supposing that it is an apologetic for inerrantism?
                  I'm guessing yes, since he doesn't explicitly say. Come to think of it, is this even a "problem" according to the Chicago Statement on inerrancy?


                  Originally posted by CSOE
                  "We affirm that canonical Scripture should always be interpreted on the basis that it is infallible and inerrant. However, in determining what the God-taught writer is asserting in each passage, we must pay the most careful attention to its claims and character as a human production. In inspiration, God utilized the culture and conventions of His penman's milieu, a milieu that God controls in His sovereign providence; it is misinterpretation to imagine otherwise."
                  The pensman's milieu explains the seeming discrepancy. Only modern eyes with anachronistic expectations would expect the overlap to be explicitly explained.

                  I take it that you're an errantist and still see a discrepancy rather than the penman's culture, conventions, and milieu.
                  Last edited by whag; 04-25-2014, 09:20 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    BTW, Doug, if you ever make it to Redlands, let's have a beer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by whag View Post
                      Come to think of it, is this even a "problem" according to the Chicago Statement on inerrancy?
                      I'm not sure what the Chicago Statement's authors would consider a problem. They said in Article XIV of the statement, "We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved vitiate the truth claims of the Bible."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by whag View Post
                        BTW, Doug, if you ever make it to Redlands, let's have a beer.
                        I don't often get over there, but I'll sure keep that in mind next time I do. Thank you very much.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doug Shaver View Post
                          It's only a problem for inerrantists. Since I'm not an inerrantist, I don't consider it a problem.
                          Errancy/Inerrancy is a broad subject. My interest is biblical history from the Patriarchs forward.

                          Whether this affects your bias to errancy I cant say, but what I can say is that the Bibles historical books from the Judges through to fall of Jerusalem are very accurate - far more so than the minimalists have previously thought.
                          Last edited by Ged; 04-26-2014, 04:19 AM.
                          "Your name and renown
                          is the desire of our hearts."
                          (Isaiah 26:8)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ged View Post
                            but what I can say is that the Bibles historical books from the Judges through to fall of Jerusalem are very accurate - far more so than the minimalists have previously thought.
                            So says your dogma. I am aware of no other reason to believe it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The minimalist dogma claims the Judges of Israel do not agree with known historical and archaeological data? Since the middle of the last century the conventional academic wisdom placed the Hebrew record between Moses and David into the semi-legend basket. There might have been a person called ( place name here ) but at best his story is only of approximate historical value. At worst it is myth and fable.

                              Think again! From the end of the 20th century a steady stream of new information has started to appear. The biblical record of the Judges is worth considering seriously.
                              "Your name and renown
                              is the desire of our hearts."
                              (Isaiah 26:8)

                              Comment

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